This Underrated Tool Will 10x Your Productivity & Help You Stay Organized Like Never Before
I have read more than 200 books over the last 2 years. Now, you must be screaming ‘WOW!! 200 BOOKS!!
But do you know what’s not so WOW aspect of reading those 200 books?
Well, I don’t remember what is being said in even 20 books. Yeah, now you can say ‘Ohh Sh*t!’
However, I am not alone in this journey, everyone who reads books faces a similar problem. As per science our attention span has decreased in just 15 years. In 2000, it was 12 seconds. Now, 15 years later, it’s shrunk significantly to 8.25 seconds. In fact, scientists reckon we now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, who are able to focus on a task or object for 9 seconds.
In such a case, no matter how focused we think we are, there is always something going on in the back of our heads. Perhaps, this is the reason why we don’t remember any significant information when the need arises like in the examination hall or during the dark phase of life.
Studies have also shown that your brain automatically deletes that information that you don’t use often. So, let’s say you were studying for your exams the night before. You studied for 5 hours straight with undivided focus (as per you), but the next week when you sit down to answer the questions in the exam hall, you can only see the vivid image of what you learned while cursing your brain for being a stupid ass.
Trust me, I have been there.
Earlier I used to struggle in the exam hall and in adulthood I struggle in life’s exams.
Why? Let’s see,
I read books that I feel can change my life. For example, these days I am trying to become physically fit so I read books like Lifespan, How Not to Die, and the like. While reading them, I feel enlightened and super excited. However, as soon as my brain comes across various other pieces of information, I cannot even recall what I read just a few days ago. I can remember that it was life-changing but HOW? I cannot remember.
Well, the case doesn’t end here. When my brain comes up with some badass ideas that can be life-altering, I write them down in my diary. The tragedy is I cannot carry a diary everywhere I go and even if I do, I forget which diary I use to write the ideas. Result?
I end up feeling a void inside me.
But ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
I know you must be going through similar issues and that’s why after searching for hours and days, I came across this underrated tool, EFFIE that has completely transformed the way I work.
I wanted to use an all-in-one tool that can store every piece of information in a very neat and clean way to help me stay organized and remember what I read in a way that is fun and exhilarating.
I know I am quite demanding but I was not ready to settle for less. I even used Notion for a while and to be honest, I was loving it but it wasn’t as fun as I wanted it to be.
I believe everything that you do should be fun so that you don’t get bored and leave it in between.
And that’s when I met my current favorite note-taking, writing, and above all MIND-MAPPING tool, EFFIE.
Effie is like your best friend who helps you;
- Take effective notes
- Write down ideas in a beautiful way
- Create Mind-Maps
- Separate ideas as per their titles
And above all keeping it fun by offering you all the freedom to design your pages as per your liking. There are so many styles available for improving the text and note-taking pattern that you wouldn’t want to exit the tool.
Let’s take a quick visit on how I use Effie and you can too:
1. Effie for Note-Taking:
Although, there are several tools in the market that you can use to take notes. In fact, one comes automatically on your phone/laptop. However, what I have experienced, learned, and preferred over the years is that note-taking is an art, not some random data that you can store anywhere you want.
Austin Kleon, the bestselling author of Steal Like an Artist also says that there should be a visual appeal in your notes, something that is creative and has images, a mind map so that you feel you are already in the execution process.
That’s one of the best features of Effie that I enjoy the most while taking notes.
Here is an image of my recent notes. Although it’s a little person then I wanted to show how I am using it:
One of the features I loved is that I can create different folders as per my need and keep things organized, easy to access, and sophisticated (see on the left corner)
If I click on ‘/’, the application shows a bunch of options to use and makes the entire process more engaging and fun. With the below options, you can go as creative as you want to:
Not only this but if you are like me who loves to have visual appeals so that it becomes more personal, then the application allows you to insert as many images as well.
And do you know what’s the best part?
If you want to share the notes with someone, you can simply export them anywhere you like, something like this:
I loved the export feature so much that I cannot tell you. I use this feature to share notes with my clients, and my audience (when I make notes from books), and the other day I was making a plan on how I want my room to look like so I used Effie to write down everything I had in mind, insert the images from Pinterest as inspiration and then I took out a print out so that whenever I design the room, there is no hassle or burnout.
I have wanted to use Mind Maps since the day I started reading so that I can remember what I read and how I am planning to take action on the same. Although you can take notes from books directly in your notebook but as per studies, mind maps are more effective. Besides, unlike paper, if you have it on your mobile/laptop, you can revisit it anytime you need.
But, the problem was I always thought of Mind Maps as some kind of monster so I was afraid to use them. Until Effie.
Here is how I created a small Mind Map to show you how easy and cool it looks:
As click on the right side, 3 arrows, you will get to select from various other options of mind maps that you can use as per your need. (The best part is, the instructions were mentioned everywhere so you don’t feel confused or lost)
Next, you can select any format you like. In fact, if you want to change the format in between, the tool gives you the freedom to do so as well:
When you use mind maps, you force your brain to think about what you just read and how it is integrated into your life. I use mind maps to not only remember what I read but to grow my understanding of the subject strong as well.
When I am using mind maps for taking notes from books, it helps me to draw a clear picture in mind as to what I learned, how I will implement it, and which topic is more important than the other (helping you declutter unnecessary information) As per science we remember images more than numbers and with these mind mapping technique, you will be able to remember the concept for a longer period of time and along with that, you can revisit the mind map anytime and anywhere you want.
Once you are done with your work, you are allowed to download it as well.
The option of downloading can be found in the top right corner.
Here are some extra helpful features that I loved:
- Shortcut keys available for everything
2. Spelling check
3. Written instructions for everything
4. Statistics Check:
Once I click on View and then statistics, Effie enables me to know how many words I have written along with character count and reading time.
I can go on and on but I think you got the point here. If you are following me for a while, you know I brag a lot about things that I found useful. Because I believe among some average things, be they books or a tool, there are only a few things that are worthy of your time. I spend a lot of time researching and experimenting so that you can avoid the screening process and directly take the best advantage of the best.
Effie is one of those tools that I absolutely enjoyed and had fun using it. In fact, now I cannot imagine my days without Effie. With so many options, right from note-taking to mind mapping, it allows me to stay organized, remember what I read, enjoy the process and make everything personal.
One of the advantages of Effie is that you can use it even on your iPhone so even your phone stays productive and eventually you.
I hope you found this article useful and let me know if you need any help using Effie.